In most companies, the people at the top don’t spend a lot of time interacting directly with customers. Executives may set customer service policies and require that their employees follow through, but ultimately it’s up to the employees themselves to ensure that customer service is the best that it can be. So what leads to an employee providing excellent customer service rather than simply doing as their told?
Unsurprisingly, it’s employees who feel engaged in their work and who believe in the company vision who provide the best customer service, both on the front end and back end. Employees who understand and believe in their company’s values are more excited about the work they’re doing. They feel connected to it, and as a result, giving customers a positive experience is no longer work but something that they are excited and passionate about.
If you’ve ever been to Whole Foods, you know what we’re talking about. Whole Foods is considered one of the best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine. The people who work there are considered team members rather than employees, and they’re all encouraged by the company values, the strong workplace culture, and the fact that they are rewarded for good work. Whole Foods is far from the most affordable grocery store out there, but their customer base is extremely loyal due in large part to the service they receive from the happy employees who work there.
Of course, part of what makes an employee happy is finding a job that is suited to their talents, provides them with a fair salary, and gives them room to grow. But beyond satisfaction with their individual role, employees are most engaged and happy when they also have a strong understanding of and belief in their company’s values.
If your customers are reporting low levels of satisfaction, your first step for improving the situation should be to figure out how to make your employees happier. Go into strategic planning mode and get feedback from employees at every level on how they think workplace culture could be improved. Also get their input on what values are most important to them and what values they think should be important to the company. Use the information you gain to create a clear company vision and goals for your organization.
The road to improving employee happiness may be a long one, but if you can start with open communication and clear goal setting, you’ll be well on your way.